Mrs. Emma Mabel Moore Cummings, age 90, passed from the comfort of her earthly home to her Heavenly home on August 14, 2023. She was a lifelong proud member of the Prospect Community and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Mrs. Mabel was the fifth child born to her late parents, Mr. Luther Ward and Mrs. Nora Smith Moore, born July 21, 1933, on her father’s 44th birthday. Mrs. Mabel lived a fruitful and fulfilled life, devoted to God, family, church, community and education.
Mrs. Mabel grew up on the family farm along with her ten brothers and sisters. She graduated from Prospect School in 1950 and then went on to attend Pembroke State College, graduating in 1954 with a BS in Home Economics. She remained a very proud alumnus and was present at the most recent Founders’ Day in March 2023. Her grandfather, the late Rev. William Luther Moore, was one of the founders and the inaugural headmaster of the Croatan Normal School established in 1887, now known as The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Mrs. Mabel took pride in her 30-year teaching career, serving at Shoeheel School, Prospect School, and West Robeson High School, retiring in 1987. During her time at Prospect and West Robeson, Mrs. Mabel served as an advisor for the Future Homemakers of America club (FHA), where she traveled with her students to various meetings, competitions, and conferences. During most of her 22 years at Prospect, Mrs. Mabel served as a cheerleading advisor, keeping with her family’s love of sports. Mrs. Mabel enjoyed interacting with her students and colleagues, keeping in contact with many of them throughout the years. Mrs. Mabel’s 12 years of volunteering at Prospect School after her retirement kept her close to the school and community she loved.
Mrs. Mabel married her soul mate, Mr. Newton Cummings, Jr., with whom she enjoyed 66 years of marriage until his passing on March 19, 2023. After retirement, they were inseparable and in their later years, their daughter Lynn was their dedicated chauffeur. Each outing usually turned into an adventure and many treasured memories were made.
Mrs. Cummings was a proud third generation member of Prospect United Methodist Church. In her youth, Mrs. Mabel and her sister cleaned the church on Saturdays. She was a very active member, serving in multiple roles including Financial Secretary for many years and President of the Prospect United Methodist Women (UMW) for 24-years, a group that she joined at the age of 31. As Mrs. Cummings became more at ease presiding at the local level, she participated in the UMW at District, Conference, Jurisdictional, and National levels of the United Methodist Conference. Mrs. Mabel was the first Native American UMW President of the Rockingham District and the first Native American female officer in the North Carolina Conference of UMW. She attended five General UMW Assemblies and conducted workshops at Southeastern UMW Jurisdictional events. She advocated for the Robeson County Church and Community Center in Lumberton, NC and along with her congregation, the Girls’ Orphanage in Bolivia, South America. Mrs. Cummings was a delegate to the UMW General Conference from 1992 through 2015. She was a delegate for 28 years to the NC UMC Annual Conference. Also, she was invited to serve on the Native American Ministries Committee at the state level and the Southeastern Jurisdictional level, of which she was most proud to be included.
Mrs. Mabel was an avid adventurer, visiting 48 states, Canada and Mexico in her travels. She gathered an impressive souvenir spoon collection, but she was most known for her master crochet skills. Visitors to her home were often given one of her signature crocheted dishcloths, as beautiful as they are useful. Mrs. Cummings and her husband cherished spending time with their grandson Michael, and one way for Mrs. Mabel to demonstrate this was to cook and bake Michael’s favorite dishes. Mrs. Mabel and Mr. JR enjoyed visiting family and friends and dining at their favorite restaurants. Mrs. Mabel was quick to share her home cooked meals and could always be relied upon in times of need.
Mrs. Mabel was preceded in death by her parents, husband Newton “JR”, son-in-law Michael M. Sanderson, and siblings Luther Harbert Moore, Mary Francis Baker, Sarah Catherine Hunt, William Charles Moore, Cleo Locklear, Earl C. Moore, Carl Thomas Moore, and Eliza Jane Sampson. Mrs. Cummings is survived by her loving daughter, Cynthia Lynn Sanderson, and her adored grandson, Michael Ward Sanderson both of Pembroke, NC.
Mrs. Cummings is also survived by her brothers, Clement Richard Moore and wife Christine of Prospect, NC and Claude Moore and wife Evelyn of Danville, VA. Mrs. Mabel left behind a multitude of cousins, in-laws, nephews, nieces, church family and friends throughout the United States.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Mrs. Mabel M. Cummings to the Rev. W. L. (William Luther) Moore Scholarship at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke online at www.uncp.edu/give. When making your gift online, please select the designation of “Other”, check “Tribute Gift” and type “Rev. W. L. (William Luther) Moore Scholarship” in the comment section. You can also make a gift by mail, made payable to “UNCP Foundation” and “Rev. W. L. (William Luther) Moore Scholarship” listed in the memo. Mail to: UNCP Office of Advancement, PO Box 1510, Pembroke, NC 28372.